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German family of engravers. They were central figures in Augsburg's role as a centre for engraving during the 17th and early 18th centuries. Bartholomäus Kilian I (1548–88), a goldsmith from Silesia, settled c. 1575 in Augsburg, where he became a master in 1578. His sons (1) Lucas Kilian and (2) Wolfgang Kilian were trained in engraving by Dominicus Custos (b after 1550; d 1612), who married Bartholomäus's widow. Lucas was a masterly and innovative engraver, introducing Italian influences to German ornamentation; he and Wolfgang developed the new form of the Thesenblatt, or thesis broadsheet.(1) Lucas Kilian (b Augsburg, 1579; d Augsburg, 1637). He was apprenticed to his stepfather Dominicus Custos, an engraver from Antwerp. His earliest independent print shows the influence of the Netherlands, which was to be lasting: it is a large view of the Augustus Fountain in Augsburg (1599; Hollstein, no. 101) after a drawing by Frans Aspruck, exhibiting the type of display work brought by Italian-trained Dutch artists to Augsburg. In 1601 Kilian himself travelled to Italy. He went from town to town, mainly making reproductive engravings. In Venice (1602–3) he copied works by Titian (c. 1485/90–1576), Paolo Veronese (1528–88), Jacopo Tintoretto (1519–94) and Palma Vecchio (?1479/80–1528); some of these prints are the only records of now untraced paintings. From this time he developed a ‘painterly manner’ (Wengenmayr), achieving fine gradations of light and shade with richly varied use of the burin.


From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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